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WD_Black 1TB SN850 NVMe internal gaming SSD solid state drive – Gen4 PCIe review

WD_Black 1TB SN850 NVMe internal gaming SSD solid state drive - Gen4 PCIe review
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Does it work with PS5 – WD_Black 1TB SN850 NVMe internal gaming SSD solid state drive – Gen4 PCIe? Irrationally fast read/write speeds up to 7000/5300MB/s (1TB model) and up to 1,000,000 IOPS (1TB and 2TB models). Next-gen PCIe Gen4 technology optimized for top-tier gaming (not intended for NAS or server environments). Get details in WD_Black 1TB SN850 NVMe internal gaming SSD solid state drive – Gen4 PCIe review.

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Pros & Cons

FOR

  • Attractive design
  • Black PCB
  • Competitive performance
  • Software package
  • Large, fast-recovering dynamic SLC cache
  • 5-year warranty

AGAINST

  • AES 256-bit encryption not supported
  • Hot under heavy load

Specs – WD_Black 1TB SN850 NVMe internal gaming SSD solid state drive – Gen4 PCIe

  • Capacity: 1TB
  • Interface: PCIe Gen4 x4
  • Controller: WD_Black G2
  • NAND: BiCS4 96-layer TLC
  • Endurance: 600 TBW
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
  • Form Factor: M.2 2280
  • Dimensions (H x W x L): 2.38mm X 22.15 X 80.15 9mm X 23.60mm X 80.20mm
  • Weight: 7.5g TBD
  • Operating Temperature: 0°C to 70°C
  • Non-operating Temperature: -55°C to 85°C
  • Interface: PCIe Gen4 8 Gb/s, up to 4 lanes
  • Endurance (TBW): 500GB: 300, 1TB: 600, 2TB: 1200
  • MTTF: 1.75M Hours
  • Supply Voltage: 3.3V ± 5%
  • PS3 (low power) (mW): 250
  • PS4 (low power) (mW): 5
  • Peak Power (10us): 2.9
  • Operating Vibration: 5.0 gRMS, 10-2000 Hz, 3 axes
  • Non-operating Vibration: 4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz, 3 axes
  • Operating/Non-operating Shock: 300G @0.5 msec half sine
  • Certifications: FCC, UL, TUV, KCC, BSMI, VCCI, C-Tick

Price

WD’s Black SN850 is available in capacities of 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB with street pricing listed at $150, $230, and $450, per respective capacity. If you want the model with a heatsink, it will cost an extra $20.

The WD Black SN850 without a heatsink is available in only three capacities: 500GB, 1TB and 2TB. In the UK, these have an MSRP of £84.80, £152.99, and £369.12, respectively.

You can buy it from AmazonEbuyerArgos and Very.

And, for US purchasers, those costs translate into $119.99, $199.99 and $399.99 for the same capacities. You can get it from the likes of Amazon and Newegg.

For those that want the heatsink model, expect to pay £130.49 (US$178.94), £229.99 (US$249.99), £419.99 (US$529.99) for the joy of the cooling and the light show.

Compare WD_Black 1TB SN850 NVMe internal gaming SSD solid state drive – Gen4 PCIe

ProductBlack SN850 500GBBlack SN850 1TBBlack SN850 2TB
Pricing$149.99$229.99$449.99
Capacity (User / Raw)500GB / 512GB1000GB / 1024GB2000GB / 2048GB
Form FactorM.2 2280M.2 2280M.2 2280
Interface / ProtocolPCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 1.4PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 1.4PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 1.4
ControllerWD_BLACK G2WD_BLACK G2WD_BLACK G2
DRAMDDR4DDR4DDR4
MemoryBiCS4 96L TLCBiCS4 96L TLCBiCS4 96L TLC
Sequential Read7,000 MBps7,000 MBps7,000 MBps
Sequential Write4,100 MBps5,300 MBps5,100 MBps
Random Read800,000 IOPS1,000,000 IOPS1,000,000 IOPS
Random Write570,000 IOPS720,000 IOPS710,000 IOPS
Endurance (TBW)300 TB600 TB1,200 TB
Part NumberWDS500G1X0EWDS100T1X0EWDS200T1X0E
Warranty5-Years5-Years5-Years

WD_Black 1TB SN850 NVMe internal gaming SSD solid state drive – Gen4 PCIe review

Design

The drive comes in an M.2 2280 single-sided form factor with an NVMe flash controller, a DRAM chip, and just two flash packages because of the large size of the controller package, measuring 17 x 17mm, taking up most of the PCB space.

WD paired the second-generation controller with the company’s newer Kioxia BiCS4 96L TLC flash operating at Toggle DDR3.0 speeds of 800 MTps. Both the 500GB and 1TB models leverage 256Gb dies while the 2TB leverages 512Gb dies.

Capacity

Boasting bleeding-edge PCIe Gen4 performance and available in up to 2TB of capacity, WD’s Black SN850 is a beast of an SSD that rival’s Samsung’s 980 PRO for the best SSD. If you got the cash, it is a great choice for gamers and enthusiasts looking for top-tier, quality storage.

nCache

The more detailed configuration includes up to 300GB of the 1TB of flash memory dynamically set aside to operate as a fast SLC cache, a feature known as nCache in WD nomenclature. As for endurance, WD backs the drive for five years and 600TB of writes, which is enough for 100GB of data written daily, wait for it, 16 years. Yeah, that should have you covered.

Read & Write speed

With peak sequential performance up to 7/5.3 GBps of sequential read/write throughput and upwards of 1,000,000/720,000 random read/write IOPS, the WD Black SN850 delivers top-tier performance over the PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe 1.4 interface.

Transfer Rates – DiskBench

We use the DiskBench storage benchmarking tool to test file transfer performance with a custom dataset. We copy a 50GB dataset, including 31,227 files of various types, like pictures, PDFs, and videos, to a new folder and then follow-up with a reading test of a newly-written 6.5GB zip file.

WD_Black 1TB SN850 NVMe internal gaming SSD solid state drive – Gen4 PCIe Performance review

The likes of the Samsung 980 Pro and Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus have the edge by some metrics. But the SN850 puts in some very nice numbers: 6996 MB/s read and 5205 MB/s write on CrystalDIskMark, to provide some context.

Peak performance is in line with the claimed specs, with sequential reads of a whisker under 7GB/s and writes around 5.2GB/s. As nice as those numbers are, it’s actually the 4K performance that most impresses. 4K queue depth one read speed is right up there with the Samsung 980 Pro at 81MB/s, while the 250MB/s write speed for the same test is the fastest we’ve ever seen.

As for sustained performance, it drops off right where you’d expect given the SLC cache provision, with sequential write throughput roughly halving after around 300GB of data. That ought to be plenty for most users.

WD_Black 1TB SN850 NVMe internal gaming SSD solid state drive – Gen4 PCIe review

The best speeds and quality at a premium price

If you want the fastest data transfer speeds go with this. As long as your motherboard supports PCI Gen 4. If you only have Gen 3 I would go with the SN750 instead for almost half the price at the same capacity. It’s not cheap but if you want the best, newest, fastest technology then you are probably the person to buy this.

I’ve watched some reviews and some of the other M.2 drives with similar speeds had caching issues that this drive doesn’t have. This drive does build up a good amount of heat in use so a heatsink is recommended. I used the one that came with my mobo and it seems to keep the temps low.

I’ve used Western Digital drives for years. I’ve only had one failure which I believe was due to water damage and that was on a mechanical drive that was years old. This is backed up with a 5 year warranty. I would also recommend downloading the Western Digital Dashboard software which allows you to see drive capacity, health, temps, and to update the firmware.

There is a firmware update available for this drive which was done in seconds with no issues for me. At nearly double the cost of the 1tb SN750 you are paying more but getting double the read and nearly double the write speed.

By Justin at Best Buy

Alternate of WD_Black 1TB SN850 NVMe internal gaming SSD solid state drive – Gen4 PCIe

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus

Specs

Capacity: 1TB, 2TB, 4TBController: Phison PS5018-E18Flash: Micron B27 96-later TLCInterface: M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4Seq. read: 7,100 MB/sSeq. write: 6,600 MB/s

Pros

+Great first-gen performance+Solid value for money+Useful software bundle

Cons

-High initial investment

The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus was one of the first drives to use the new Phison E18 controller; the follow up to the immensely popular Phison E16 controller found in basically every first-gen PCIe 4.0 drive. No, seriously, that’s the controller you’ll find in everything from the Corsair MP600 to the Gigabyte Aorus to the Addlink S90 as well as plenty of Sabrent’s own drives. 

It topped out at just over 5,000MB/s for reads, and 4,400MB/s writes, while the best PCIe 3.0 drives managed reads of 3,500MB/s and writes of around 3,000MB/s. 

This new Phison E18 controller ups the ante significantly, offering sequential throughput of up to 7,100MB/s reads and 6,600MB/s writes. The theoretical limits of the interface are 8GB/s for both, so those figures aren’t far off how fast you can expect PCIe 4.0 to go. It’s incredibly fast basically, and on paper at least, the fastest drive to be released so far.

On to the performance, and it’s here where Sabrent’s latest drive impresses almost effortlessly, especially when it comes to the synthetic throughput. The sequential read and write figures in both benchmarks are impressive, but it’s the write performance that stands out most, leaving the competition eating dust. The Samsung 980 Pro in particular really struggles to keep up with the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus.

The PCMark 10 storage tests are a bit more off the pace though, with both the Full and Quick benchmarks showing the Sabrent lagging behind the Samsung 980 Pro and the WD Black SN850. The Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers benchmark loaded the levels in just over seven and a half seconds, which is notably quicker than the first generation drives, although behind the WD Black SN850.

If you want the very best performance, then the WD Black SN850 just has the edge over this drive. That SSD does run hotter than the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus though, a good 12­°C hotter, something that in a cramped case would have us recommending the Sabrent in its place. This drive is also often $50 cheaper than the 2TB WD Black SN850, which makes this a better value proposition.

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